Memorial Day Weekend marks the beginning of the summer tourist season in Big Sur. But residents are “spoiled” by the closures experienced this past year. This weekend’s significant influx of visitors, while greatly appreciated, has brought many hospitality workers back to the reality of living and working here — the crowds that keep us alive.
“After a festive ribbon-cutting ceremony, visitors poured in Friday. Every Memorial Day weekend site was sold out in 90 minutes. Another 1,000 reservations have already been booked for the rest of summer,” reported the Monterey Herald.
Several of my visitor-serving friends were on overload on Saturday, dealing with the sudden rise in population here in Big Sur. They had been inundated. Usually, our hospitality industry gets a couple of dry runs before the big opening day, and workers have the opportunity to get ready for the flood of tourists. This could not happen this year, due to closures of the Los Padres National Forest and the State Parks essentially since June of last year. Now, we are on a fast track to catch up with lost revenues and to get used to the large crowds. We got spoiled, and we got lazy, without our visitors.
Welcome back, everyone. Let’s keep this a safe and sane (by Big Sur standards) summer.
(Just flew back last night and I have a lot to catch up on. Being “unplugged” for 16 days was great — no phones, no internet, no news. Will write about my adventures on slow “news” days in the coming weeks. Also looking to post another Random Big Sur Photo for identification soon.)